It’s that time of year when B2B marketers feel like they have to figure out ways to get their message out during the consumer-driven, super-selling days known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, ‘tis the season when an entire six to eight weeks are all about B2C marketing and sales.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday work really well for retailers because the products they promote have a shelf life that decreases in value over time. SaaS is evergreen. If discounted, prospects become leery of the value you provide. That leaves little room for B2B marketers to benefit from the super-selling holiday season, but that could be a very good thing.
Don’t Make Selling Saas Something It’s Not
Some traditional advice for B2B marketers has been to capitalize on the clicking and deal-seeking frenzy of online holiday shopping by seeking sign-ups and downloads. One theory goes like this: Send marketing emails over the long Thanksgiving weekend because these are more likely to be opened with fewer emails filling up your prospects’ inboxes. Decision-makers will be checking email during their time away from work so it’s a good time to feed them a white paper or a case study.
The belief is that you can miraculously break through the clutter during the busy holiday shopping season. Does this sound at all plausible to you? If it does, that’s great. If it doesn’t, you’re like most marketers who don’t fly on false hopes.
Another theory is to take advantage of all that time your prospects spend shopping online – while at work – by emailing special offers. They’re already receptive to all of the promotional hype so why not do something to get on their radar?
It’s something to think about, but before you extend yourself by trying to make selling SaaS something it’s not, consider all of the really cool things about B2B marketing.
#1 B2B Sales are Two Times More Than B2C Sales
Forrester Research released a report earlier this year that forecasts B2B revenue will reach $780 billion this year. Compare that to the $304.91 billion in 2014 sales for B2C according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Forrester goes on to predict B2B sales will reach $1.13 trillion by 2020.
#2 B2B Sales Are Steady
According to Adept Marketing’s List of E-Commerce Stats for Holiday 2015, the days from Black Friday through Christmas pull in 50 – 100 percent more revenue compared to shopping days throughout the rest of the year. As B2B marketers, we don’t have to depend on six weeks out of the entire year to reach our annual sales goals. We can pace ourselves from one month to the next or from one quarter to the next. If sales are down one month, we can make up for it during the following month. The fourth quarter of the year doesn’t have to be our make or break quarter because selling is steady throughout the year.
#3 B2B Marketers Get Personal
Also according to Adept Marketing’s list, 98 percent of B2C companies aren’t set up to identify, deliver on, and measure moments of intent in the purchase journey. Thirty-eight percent of B2C marketers do not use personalization in their marketing efforts.
The B2B marketer’s livelihood is grounded in 1:1 personalization. Understanding the buyer’s journey provides a human approach to selling. Delivering personalized experiences to even those anonymous leads builds good relationships that can eventually create evangelists. And referrals are always a good way to boost sales.
#4 B2B Budgets Aren’t Confining
Marketing spending as a percentage of firm revenues for B2B product is 8.1 percent compared to 15.2 percent for B2C product according to CMO Survey. For B2B services, the spending is 5.8 percent compared to 11.0 percent for B2C services. One in three retailers dedicate 31 – 50 percent of their total online marketing budget to holiday efforts so a large portion of the budget must be set aside for seasonal spending before any planning even begins.
Not only do B2B marketers have more freedom with how and when they spend their budget, just under eight in 10 say they have access to additional money and funds outside of the official marketing budget according to ITSMA.
#5 B2B Marketers Can Enjoy the Holidays
The holidays are a good time to give your clients and prospects some space, particularly if they have B2C retail clients that require attention during the holiday selling season. They are most likely looking for an uptick in their business so the more time they can devote to their business, the better. You then, have given yourself license to enjoy the holidays without the stress of hitting sales targets or burning through your marketing budget. You’ve already done everything you can to make your numbers for this year.
So, if you’re a B2B marketer, you can enjoy turkey and football without the stress of having to meet holiday sales targets. Congratulations!
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